Virtual engagement maximising collections in compliance
From the desk of our Chairman, Daren Simcox.
Court Enforcement Services is a leading provider of High Court Enforcement to businesses and individuals, and, since forming in 2014, has become an established name in the UK’s High Court enforcement industry by offering a combination that is intentionally difficult for our competitors to match – vast legal experience and knowledge, a dedication to the very best client service levels and most importantly, the highest collection performance levels in our sector.
With over £187 million judgment debt fairly collected for our clients, and minimal complaints in executing over 100,000 High Court Writs, we are justifiably proud of the speed with which we have achieved this record for our clients and customer debtors, which promotes early-stage resolution and achieves an above industry average engagement rate of 39% during the compliance stage.
These clear credentials are why, as one of the fastest growing and largest High Court Enforcement business in the UK, we feel it is our duty to provide guidance to creditors in light of recent communications about ‘virtual’ (video call) enforcement.
Beware virtual enforcement. Instead … Welcome virtual ‘engagement’.
Virtual engagement between debtors and enforcement agents is nothing new. It has been heavily in use since telephony started and further developed with the internet over the past two decades. Used properly as part of a multi-channel mix of engagement approaches, we are able to tailor our engagements to suit individuals and the available contact details.
As new channels develop or society changes its social norms, our communications and collections teams adjust their approach to optimise engagement – video as a channel is no different. Today, in almost every case, we use a multi-channel approach to provide fair and early engagement, discuss payment arrangements and avoid doorstep visits.
At Court Enforcement Services and our sister company, CDER Group, we refer to this as ‘virtual engagement’, we aim to agree a resolution with our customers without the need for any form of visit and without the need for a controlled goods agreement, so minimising the level of fees payable and the impact on the customer. We have been using this approach for over 6 years and are pleased to be able to advise our clients that more than 20% of our customers settle in compliance and more than 20% of our customers settle using a payment arrangement. We focus on delivering resolutions that match our client’s needs and their debtor’s circumstances, all Expertly Resolved.
Leading by Expertly Delivering Best Practice.
We deliver best practice by minimising the impact on the debtor, only putting a controlled goods agreement (CGA) in place when absolutely necessary and ensuring that all debts are settled subject to appropriate affordability tests.
There is no requirement for us to take control of goods in the compliance phase as we have agreements in place with our clients. Our approach results in a lighter touch and delivers a fair resolution for both our clients and our debtors.
Brands need protection, not results at any cost.
As a market leader we innovate and adhere strictly to the regulations: the regulations already provide the ability to enter into a payment arrangement in the compliance stage, without the need for a visit or a CGA. We cannot therefore see the benefit of requesting that a debtor go through the intrusive process of allowing a video call to walk an Enforcement Agent around their house when they have already engaged to agree settlement and a creditor has accepted a payment arrangement during an extended compliance period.
Fairness in Operation.
We will always act in accordance with the words and spirit set out in our charter which expresses our belief that – we believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly.
At Court Enforcement Services Ltd, we would like to reassure our clients and all other creditors that we will always proceed in the spirit the law and regulations intended. We fully appreciate the importance of protecting our client’s brand and reputation and our duty of care in all our engagements.
We currently have no plans to implement ‘video visits’ unless there is client demand for us to do so. We believe it is highly unlikely that our clients would want us to use video calls to take control of goods as the feedback and opposition received from CCUA members suggests that they do not wish to do so.
For more information on our approach to Fairness in Operation, vulnerability and brand protection, please follow these links:
- Fairness in Operation: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/us/fairness-in-operation/
- Brand Protection: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/us/brand-protection/
- Debtor Support: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/debtor-support/
- Vulnerability: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/vulnerable-debtors/
- Signposting: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk/independent-advice/